Altered State – Part Two
The first few weeks were like a dream. I felt more energetic, could stay awake longer, and was overall happier. It was almost as if I was living in my own little cloud of happiness. I felt a bit nauseous the first couple of times, but Doctor Wilson said that it was a common side effect.
But soon enough the cloud dispersed, and not only did my mood drop, but I stopped sleeping altogether. I could lie down for hours and still not be able to fall asleep. I took copious amounts of sleeping pills, started exercising heavily every day, and still, nothing worked. But the weirdest thing of all was that I wasn’t even tired.
The first week of no sleep was fine, but after that, I started getting loopy. My parents asked me if I had started drinking, but I hadn’t had any alcohol since graduating. Doctor Wilson told me to stay away from it while taking Brightside Energy, and I figured that it was best to listen to him.
When I went in for my next check up, he recorded everything I told him and said that there wasn’t much to worry about.
“This is just another side effect, you’ll be fine.”
I thought he looked a little strained when he said it, but Karen was already ushering me out of the door before I could ask any more questions. The usual smile plastered onto her face faltered for just a second, but she recovered quickly.
The following week, I started having lapses in memory. I couldn’t remember if I had taken my drink yet, and one day I accidentally had two. Doctor Wilson said that it was fine if I accidentally had two, but that I probably shouldn’t let it happen again.
My brain was buzzing and I couldn’t think straight. By the time I went in again, I was having full on hallucinations. I hadn’t slept in about a month, and it was starting to show. I could tell Doctor Wilson was concerned, but he tried to conceal it.
“We’re going to keep you with us for a few days, just to run some tests.”
Karen guided me into a large, empty room. Her smile was gone and she kept telling me to calm down. I couldn’t understand why though, because as far as I was concerned I wasn’t being uncooperative. I tried to say something, but my voice wouldn’t come out.
Karen shoved me into a large chair and held me down while Doctor Wilson strapped me in. I wanted to tell them that I was fine, but my voice didn’t come out. Doctor Wilson was saying something, but I couldn’t make out the words. My vision was starting to refocus, and I cold see Karen sticking something into my arm. Was she even a doctor?
I was knocked out before I had the chance to process the thought. It was the first time I’d slept in weeks, and my mind finally stopped racing. As I came to again, my thoughts were more cohesive and I thought that maybe they’d let me go.
But first I kept my eyes shut, hoping I’d be able to fall back asleep for a while. I wasn’t going to be able to make up for a months worth of sleep in just a few hours. Doctor Wilson and Karen re-entered the room, and I couldn’t even remember when they left, but they were hurriedly whispering about something.
Karen sighed and put her hand on my forehead.
“She didn’t respond very well to the treatment.”
“That’s not our problem. We’re just doing what they told us to.”
Doctor Wilson sounded weary, but that was the least of my problems. Who were “they” and what did they tell him to do?
Karen’s hand left my forehead.
“Yeah, but this is the third one we’ve lost. Don’t you at least feel kind of bad? What are we supposed to tell her family?”
“The same thing we told the other ones.”
LOST? Was I dead? I twitched my finger, just enough to where they wouldn’t notice it. Thankfully it moved. I felt stronger since sleeping, so I’d just have to sit up and tell them that I wanted to leave.
“I’ll just pull the plug and then we can put her with the rest.”
Oh hell no. I wasn’t about to die. I opened my eyes and tried to fling myself to a sitting position, but the straps held me back.
“Um, please don’t do that, I feel better.”
Doctor Wilson and Karen’s eyes widened. Karen quickly read through a bunch of papers on her clipboard, looking shocked.
“Your charts say that you shouldn’t have woken up?”
“Then I guess the charts were wrong.”
Doctor Wilson slowly approached me.
“How long have you been awake?”
I figured that it was now or never for my questions, so I dove right in.
“Who are ‘they’?”
“Who and where are the rest?”
I reached down to take the tubes out of my arm, but Karen stopped me.
“Those might be keeping you alive. Can you let us run a few more tests first? If they come back positive, we’ll let you go and you won’t have to see us or take the drink ever again.”
Doctor Wilson started to say something, but Karen held up an arm and cut him off.
I looked down to the tubes in my arm, and realized that there were also a few in my legs and my other arm. Ripping them out and running was starting to feel like a bad idea.
more by CASSIE GAMMIE
Read the first chapter: Altered State – Part One